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Terrorism Terrorism

Russia is recruiting far-Right extremists to carry out attacks in the UK and Nato countries

Wagner mercenaries recruited by Russia. Source X (Twitter)

Russia is recruiting far-Right extremists to carry out attacks in the UK and Nato countries, National Security News has learned.
Intelligence sources have said that terrorists recruited by Russian GRU agents have been responsible for a series of attacks in Western Europe and the US in the last six months.
The sources said that extremists are being recruited by undercover officers of the GRU – the Russian military intelligence service – and members of the mercenary group Wagner.
It comes after the expulsion of Col Maxim Elovik, the Russian defence attache to the UK, who is believed to be a GRU operative.
An intelligence source told National Security News: “The GRU are cultivating a network of Right-wing terrorists to deploy against Nato targets.
“These attacks are already happening and have been going on for a while in various Nato countries and the UK is definitely on the target list.
“Attacks may have taken place in the US and have occurred in Germany.
“Intelligence agencies are now actively warning their governments that the threat is very real.
“Right-wing extremists are being targeted because they are the group in the political spectrum who are pro-Russia, pro-Putin and very violent. 
“There is also a lot of covert contact between Right-wing groups in different countries.”
The disclosures follow comments last month by Thomas Haldenwang, the head of German domestic intelligence, who told a security conference: “We assess the risk of [Russian] state-controlled acts of sabotage to be significantly increased.”
He added that the attacks would come with “a high potential for damage”.
After the Salisbury poisonings in 2018, almost two dozen Russian spies were expelled by the UK.
It is now believed that the Kremlin has been forced to follow a tactic similar to that used by Iran in which organised crime gangs are used to carry out proxy terrorist attacks.
Mark Galeotti, director of the London-based think tank Mayak Intelligence and author of Putin’s Wars: From Chechnya to Ukraine, said that as the West continues to pile pressure on Russia, “we should not be surprised by a pushback”.
Mr Galeotti added that the increase in sabotage operations also comes as Ukraine has intensified its attacks on Russian soil and that they can be viewed as a sort of payback.
“As far as Putin is concerned, Ukraine does what it is told. 
“When he sees Russian factories being attacked, he sees the hands of the CIA, of Nato.
“Not killing people and going after infrastructure facilities show they still have political limits, for the moment. 
“Even if Putin speaks of a war against the West, in reality he doesn’t want an open conflict. 
“So Russia is using operations that remain just below the threshold.”
A government spokesman said: “The Government actively deters and defends against the full spectrum of threats emanating from Russia, working in partnership with our allies.
“We recently announced that we are expelling the Russian defence attaché and are removing the diplomatic status from several Russian premises as part of a package to tighten defences against malign activity by Russia across the UK and Europe.
“This is the toughest package of bilateral measures imposed on Russia since Salisbury and sits alongside the significant powers of the National Security Act 2023, which are already being used to keep us safe from state threats.
“Alongside the US and Australia, we have also sanctioned a senior Russia-based leader of LockBit, once one of the world’s most pernicious cybercrime gangs.”

Sean Rayment is the Defence and Security Editor for National Security News. He is also a best selling author, broadcaster and award-winning defence and security journalist. He has also previously served as an officer in Parachute Regiment Officer. He has reported from war zones around the world including Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Africa, and Northern Ireland and is one of the few British journalists to twice visit the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. He has written for virtually all British national newspapers and specialises in security, intelligence, and defence reporting, with a specific interest in mental health issues in the military community. Sean is also the author of Bomb Hunters and Tales from the Special Forces Club. He also co-wrote the international bestselling Painting the Sand with Kim Hughes GC and Endurance with former SAS operator Louis Rudd.